Why do so many films fail? What does failing in film even mean? In short the reason that so many independent films fail is because the line between art and commerce isn’t fully understood by the group of people creating it. That’s why your approach aside from as art should be treating film like a business.
Now many have argued that marrying art and sales is a concept nearly impossible to achieve, but I beg to differ. I don’t feel you have to compromise your art in order to generate an audience and sales, to the contrary, I feel that you have to be true to your art and know how to market it.
Treating film like a business is something every filmmaker has to be conscious of and consider. That doesn’t mean requiring every production to have a billion dollar budget, follow the 3 act structure in a 90 page screenplay perfectly, include the current list of A-listers to star and draw in the correct crowd. Instead it means to know who you’re trying to get to see the film and why.
As a creative person, when you are treating film like a business you should take note of what the major studios do. They don’t release a film and a trailer only at the time of release, they spend months promoting it, making the perfect marketing assets, having an amazing poster and generating a buzz. They treat it like a product, which it is, even though it is art, and can often (especially with Broken English Films) feature more depth and emotion than your standard action flick or rom-com.
The point I’m trying (and wavering) to make is that you should utilize the knowledge that indie films can make money, if treated like an entrepreneurial venture.
It’s not that complex a concept is it?